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Teaching - The Difference Between Private and Public Schools

Discipline and Due Process

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Teaching - The Difference Between Private and Public Schools
Photo © Dan MacDonald
Public Vs Private Education: Differences

while there are many differences between public and private schools, the primary difference is the approach to discipline. In a private school the rules of the school are clearly laid out when you sign the contract to attend a private school. By signing the contract you agree to abide by the terms of the contract which include consequences for infraction of the discipline code. In a public school you have rights - constitutional rights which must be respected. The disciplinary process takes time and frequently is a cumbersome, complicated process. Students quickly learn how to play the system and can tie teachers up in knots for weeks over disciplinary matters.

Discipline Promotes an Atmosphere for Learning

When you are not fighting for control of a class, you can teach. Because parents send their children to private school to learn, the focus is on learning. Of course, there will still be the usual teenage experimenting with authority and the limits. But, as a rule, that kind of testing is fairly harmless. Why? Because everybody knows the rules. The code of conduct spells out serious consequences for disrespecting a teacher or a classmate. The code of conduct is enforced. Bullying is unacceptable behavior. Disruptive behavior is unacceptable. Fighting is unacceptable. Discipline promotes an atmosphere for learning.

Discipline is a critical part of the three way partnership private school education is all about. When you sign the contract with the school, you commit to a three way partnership. While the school takes care of the academics and provides a host of other services while your child is in its care, you are still required to be involved. The school will not allow you to be a silent partner. It will insist on your involvement.

When you have no distractions in the classroom, you can teach.

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